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Opinion: When Romney faces Latino voters
A bilingual sign announcing a polling place in Phoenix in 2008. Latino voters are the fastest growing electorate in the country.
April 27th, 2012
05:00 AM ET

Opinion: When Romney faces Latino voters

Editor's note: Ali Noorani is executive director of the National Immigration Forum Action Fund, an organization based in Washington that advocates for the value of immigrants and immigration to the nation. Follow him on Twitter: @anoorani.

By Ali Noorani, Special to CNN

(CNN)- A month after defending the health care law, the Obama administration again confronted the buzz saw of skeptical Supreme Court justices on Wednesday - this time on immigration. But come November, Republicans may very well be on the losing end of the argument.

As has been widely reported, oral arguments regarding Arizona's SB 1070 illegal immigration law began with an unusual interruption: Chief Justice John Roberts broke in during U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli's opening comments to ask assertively, "No part of your argument has to do with racial or ethnic profiling, does it?"

And, while it is difficult to predict how the justices will rule, Justice Sonia Sotomayor signaled the tough road ahead when she said of the administration's argument, "You can see it's not selling very well."

Read Ali Noorani's full column

Opinion: Dark skin is also a problem among African-Americans
Martin says issues of skin color are nothing new in the black community.
April 26th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

Opinion: Dark skin is also a problem among African-Americans

Editor's note: Roland S. Martin is a syndicated columnist and author of "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House." He is a commentator for the TV One cable network and host/managing editor of its Sunday morning news show, "Washington Watch with Roland Martin."

By  Roland Martin, CNN Contributor

(CNN) - Acura found itself in a bit of hot water this week when it was revealed that a casting agency in Los Angeles only desired light-skinned African-American actors for the company's Super Bowl commercial featuring Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld.

The company apologized, but that hasn't stopped a lot of the chatter criticizing Acura for not doing more to keep the casting agency in check. This really isn't a new story considering how many times in the past we've heard similar stories, including that advertising agencies have non-urban dictates like refusing to buy advertising space on black-focused radio, TV, magazine and online properties.

Worldwide, nearly $500 million is spent on bleaching products, an effort for people with darker skin to lighten their skin. This is pretty laughable considering the lengths some whites go to darken their skin through tanning beds or even spray painting a bronze look in order to appear darker. (I'm still trying to figure out the skin tone of Speaker of the House John Boehner.)

But there is another critical discussion that must be had, and that is the belief that the lighter skinned you are, the better your life will be.

Read Roland Martin's full column 

NHL player’s series-winning goal sparks racist tweets
Joyous teammates swarm Capitals right wing Joel Ward after his series-winning goal against the Bruins.
April 26th, 2012
03:27 PM ET

NHL player’s series-winning goal sparks racist tweets

By David Close and Jason Hanna, CNN

(CNN) –– As Joel Ward’s Washington Capitals teammates swarmed their new hero after his playoff series-winning goal against the NHL’s defending champions Wednesday night, more sinister emotions were swirling on social media.

A number of people took to Twitter with racist comments, calling Ward – one of about 20 black men currently on National Hockey League rosters – the N-word.

Perhaps to those tweeters’ surprise, someone collected 40 of those tweets and put them in one place: Chirpstory, a site where one can aggregate other people’s Twitter posts for posterity. (Read the collection – contains offensive language)

To what should be no one’s surprise, the post caught the attention of sports celebrities and media Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

“Despite a black president, things haven't changed,” sports columnist and ESPN “First Take” contributor Rob Parker tweeted Thursday morning.

Read the full post on CNN's This Just In blog

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Filed under: Black in America • Bullying • How we look • Language • Race • Sports
Engage: Women Marines heading toward the front lines
Women marines deployed with Female Engagement Team to interact with Afghan civilians, specifically women and children.
April 26th, 2012
11:26 AM ET

Engage: Women Marines heading toward the front lines

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.

Military to track how women perform in formerly male-only units - The New York Times

Opinion: Stop using 'white' like it's a bad word - A.V. Club

Minorities run many popular YouTube channels - The Washington Post

Opinion: Is TV 'whitewashing' real, and how does it matter?  - The New York Times Room for Debate blog

Marco Rubio's grandfather was nearly deported back Cuba in 1960s - Miami Herald

African-American students most affected by Stafford Loan interest rate increase - Huffington Post

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Filed under: Engage
Arizona law leaves divisive legacy
Sergio Paez says Arizona's immigration law has hurt his tortilla business.
April 26th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Arizona law leaves divisive legacy

By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

(CNN) - The past few years haven’t been the best for a man trying to make an honest living selling tortillas in Arizona. Business owner Sergio Paez estimates that he has lost 20 businesses as customers in the past three years, from small neighborhood taquerias to chain restaurants.

In 2010, his tortilla business was suffering thanks to the nationwide recession. Then Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law the state's controversial immigration enforcement policy known as SB 1070, and things got even worse, he said.

“The law affected the immigrant population dramatically,” said Paez, a naturalized citizen from Mexico whose Phoenix-area factory produces about 200 dozen tortillas an hour.

“The economy had already been going down with the housing crisis construction stopped, people were losing homes, jobs, cars. That triggered the recession, but I think this law aggravated it here.”

With oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court this week for the Obama administration’s constitutional challenge to the law, the outcome will have far-reaching implications for Arizona and other states that have implemented similar policies since 2010.

Read the full story

Beyonce named 'World’s Most Beautiful Woman'
Beyonce gives credit to motherhood for making her feel beautiful.
April 26th, 2012
05:00 AM ET

Beyonce named 'World’s Most Beautiful Woman'

Editor's note: Read here to explore how beauty standards across cultures affect perceptions of beauty in the United States.

By Tomika Anderson, CNN

People magazine has named Beyonce as this year's most beautiful woman – and she's sharing the spotlight with her infant daughter, Blue Ivy.

"I feel more beautiful than I've ever felt because I've given birth," the 16-time Grammy winner and new mom told the magazine.

Can there ever again be an 'all-American' beauty?

The superstar singer and her husband Jay-Z welcomed their daughter in January, and Beyonce said she's "never felt so connected, never felt like I had such a purpose on this earth... She's just the cutest thing.”

Read the full post on CNN's Marquee blog 

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Filed under: Black in America • How we look • Pop culture
Number of interracial couples in U.S. reaches all-time high
Census data showed that non-Hispanics and Hispanics are the highest among interracial opposite-sex married couples.
April 25th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

Number of interracial couples in U.S. reaches all-time high

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - The number of interracial couples in the United States has reached an all-time high, with one in every 10 American opposite-sex married couples saying they're of mixed races, according to the most recent Census data released Wednesday.

In 2000, that figure was about 7%.

The rate of interracial partnerships also is much higher among the unmarried, the 2010 Census showed.

About 18% of opposite-sex unmarried couples and 21% of same-sex unmarried partners identify themselves as interracial.

The term interracial, as it pertains to the study, is defined as members of a couple identifying as of different races or ethnicities.

Analysts suggest the new figures could reflect U.S. population shifts, broader social acceptance of such unions and a more widespread willingness among those polled to be classified as mixed race.

Read the full story

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Filed under: Asian in America • Black in America • Census • Family • Latino in America • Race • Relationships • Who we are
April 25th, 2012
03:03 PM ET

Latino soldier to fellow troops: 'Take the warrior mask off...get help'

Editor's note: Overseas, they fight for freedom. In America, they fight for jobs. “Voters In America: Vets Wanted?” is the first part of CNN In America's documentary series on American voters. J.R. Martinez narrates the documentary re-airing May 19th at 8 p.m. ET on CNN.

By Sonya Hamasaki, CNN

Los Angeles (CNN) - When Army Master Sergeant Mike Martinez arrived in Saudi Arabia for his first assignment 22 years ago, he knew his experience in the infantry would make him “real tough, tough like nails.” But little did he know back then just how much those words would resonate now, in his new role as a voice for the invisible wounds of war.

Martinez, 42, shared his story in the USO’s first Invisible Wounds public service announcement to address post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries - the masked wounds encountered by many of the 300,000 troops returning home. He’s on a mission to educate Latino troops, in particular, whom he says are likely to feel a cultural stigma surrounding mental health treatment.

“I tell my Hispanic brothers that are still serving, don’t let pride get in the way," Martinez said. "Pride’s going to kill you. Take that warrior mask off and if you need to, get help. Get it in the beginning stages, and not later.”

Even veterans seeking help might not be getting a quick response from those who would care for them, according to an report released by the U.S. Office of Veterans Affairs this week. While the number of former service members seeking mental health care increased by 39% from 2005 to 2010, according to the Veterans Health Administration, the agency hasn't been meetings its goals to evaluate them within 24 hours and begin treatment within two weeks.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Documentaries • Health • How we live • Latino in America • Veterans
High court appears to lean toward Arizona in immigration law dispute
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on Arizona's controversial law cracking down on illegal immigrants.
April 25th, 2012
12:58 PM ET

High court appears to lean toward Arizona in immigration law dispute

From Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer

Washington (CNN) - Parts of Arizona's sweeping immigration law received a surprising amount of support from a short-handed Supreme Court Wednesday.

States throughout the country considering their own tough immigration laws are closely following the proceedings over what has become a thorny issue.

Fed up with illegal immigrants crossing from Mexico - and what they say is the federal government's inability to stop it - legislators in Arizona passed a tough immigration law. The federal government sued, saying that Arizona overreached.

While intense oral arguments took place among the justices, outside there were competing demonstrations on the courthouse plaza, with the law's opponents saying it promotes discrimination and racial profiling. Backers say illegal immigration has created public safety and economic crises.

Read the full story 

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Filed under: Immigration • Latino in America • Politics • Social justice • Where we live • Who we are
April 25th, 2012
11:23 AM ET

Engage: 'A Streetcar Named Desire' Broadway revival features first multiracial cast

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.

Blair Underwood, Nicole Ari Parker star in 'Streetcar' show that opened this week - The Root

From Utah, a black, conservative, Mormon House candidate emerges - Yahoo! News

Doctors explore why Latinos survive longer after some cancer diagnoses, despite fewer resources - Los Angeles Times

Tennessee student prohibited from entering prom because of Confederate flag dress - The Tennessean

ICE to suspend more than 16,000 deportations - Fox News Latino

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